Sometimes policy changes can be dreadful, especially when you know it is one that clients may throw a stink about. Some of the most common changes that clients do not particularly favor are price increase, processes of booking lessons, and payment processes to name a few.
So lets dive in and talk about 10 ways to make policy changes easier for you and your clients.
Don’t make it personal. Some will take it personal. Address the families in your program as a whole unit, not by individuals. This can be done by way of email list that comes from an email that is NOT your personal email. This can be your programs “general catch all email”. When you send out individual text messages, this can seem somewhat personal and make room for the invite to respond and discuss. This is when it becomes personal. If you address everyone as a whole, clients will know it is not just them. They will know that the rule applies to everyone.
Get everyone on an email list. To do this you can have a clip board out at the barn where everyone can write down their email addresses. ConvertKit is a free email tool that you can hook up to your website, or input emails manually and send out mass emails. Another great tool to have is a phone book out at the barn where all parents put their information in case electronics fail. Also it works wonders for when you need to get ahold of a grownup, real quick at the barn.
Have policies available at all times. Have them on your website. Have them up at the barn. By having them available where clients can visibly see them, allows for less excuses. Even though the excuses will come, still put every effort to having them availabl.
Don’t allow the opportunity for discussion. End it with, thank you all for being such amazing clients, families etc. in support “Programs Name here”. The parents that want to discuss, will do it anyone, others will simply accept. Now, if you want to allow room for discussion, then end the message with “If you have any questions feel free to contact “name here” by your preferred method.
Don’t feel the need to give a reason for the policy change. Things happen, things change.
Now, for certain policies like payment increases, or booking processes, give enough notice. This is just a common courtesy to allow for budget planning in households. Minimum 30 days for payment increase, and for other processes just allow time for people to get to know the new systems you put in place.
Some clients may leave if you change a policy, some may refuse to adapt to it and that is alright. They may not be clients you want to keep. Others will have no problem.
Make sure to establish your main form of communication to all of your families as a group so they know where to look for your messages. It could be emails or text, or even a Facebook Group. Just ensure they know where to expect messages to go to.
Changes can be uncomfortable for both parties, but just keep in mind that you should always do what is best for your business.
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